LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you've ever dreamed of hitting the jackpot and retiring to some beach somewhere, you're not alone. Players in Jefferson County spent $194 million on lottery tickets between 2012-2013, more than anywhere else in the state. The amount is $40 million more than Louisville Metro Government spent on the police department.
With that much money on the line, lottery players are always looking for an edge. An analysis of lottery data showed certain games and locations pay out more often than the rest.
What's so dandy about the Jim Dandy Food Market? Raymond Easter said he can count the reasons.
"This is the only place I ever win," Easter said.
The convenience store on Poplar Level Road sold more winning lottery tickets in a one year period than any other location in Louisville. That's according to a data analysis of more than 13,000 lottery winners.
Records provided by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation revealed Jim Dandy sold 316 winning lottery tickets over the one year period studied, 82% more than anywhere else in the city. Thanks a total of over $700,000 in winnings from just one address.
Kentucky Lottery Corporation vice president Chip Polston said the Jim Dandy Food Market isn't necessarily lucky. It's just busy.
"The areas that sell the most tickets are the areas that produce the most winners," Polston said.
Records showed Jim Dandy sold the third most lottery tickets in the city. But we also noticed something else. The stores ranked two and three for winning tickets didn't even crack the top 100 in the state in overall sales: The Cork n' Bottle on Cane Run Road and ValuMarket on Whittington Parkway.
"We actually had a guy walk in who cashed one for $2,500," said Michael Whitaker, a ValuMarket lottery cashier. "He walked past a lady cashing another one for $2,500."
Not bad, but peanuts compared to the state's biggest prize in 2012. Barbara Frazier of Madisonville won $4 million playing a game called Decades of Dollars. Her odds of hitting that jackpot: 1 in 10,700,000.
There was also a guy who seems to beat the odds over and over again. His name is Guy Mouser, a Nelson County hardware store owner who hit the Pick 4, 30 times, winning the lottery more often than anyone else between 2012-2013.
"Just hunches," Mouser said.
Polston said it's more than just hunches.
"He plays a lot," Polston said.
Lottery records show in one case, Mouser likely bought $1,200 worth of lottery tickets in a 30 minute time period hoping for a payday.
Mouser hit the Pick 4 five times on a single day in November 2012. He played the same ten sets of numbers on each winning ticket that he ended up cashing in for more than $10,000 in all. Add it all up and Mouser's 30 winning Pick 4 tickets totaled $80,000 in payouts. But there is no way to know how many tickets Mouser had to buy, or spend over that 12 month period, to produce all those winners.
Encouraging players to play often, but not too often, is a balancing act for the Kentucky Lottery. Some, like Ramona Bartlett, said they play the lottery every day.
"Every day I have money," she added.
There's a gambling addiction hotline posted right next to every bright, shiny self serve lottery kiosk with 80 different games promising the chance of riches inside.
A data analysis showed Pick 4 paid out the most often, more than 4,000 times for $12.5 million in prizes. Most of those payout's ranged from $1,000 to $5,000.
Kentucky Cash Blowout was the luckiest scratch off game. 3,400 payout's for more than $4.5 million in prizes. As for the game people play most, Powerball only had the 5th most winners less than 300 in all. But it also had more big payouts. What does it mean? If you want to get rich the odds are long. If you want improve your odds, your winning ticket might not make you rich.
"And it truly is the luck of where those winning tickets are located," Polston said.
Polston said more expensive scratch off games have more winning tickets. That's why the Kentucky Cash Blowout game, which costs $20 per ticket, had ten times the number of winners as the next highest scratch off, which is half the price.
Click on the links to view the information we used to gather information for this story. Kentucky Lottery players who won the most money Kentucky Lottery players who won the most often Louisville ranking
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725 S. Floyd Street
Louisville, KY 40203